July additions to the API

Nouvelle comédie

Nouvelle comédie

Just in the nick of time for the end of July we have added some new methods to our API:

For more information on the Resighting API see the full API documentation.

Until next time.

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June additions to the API

Colline du Château by Naheed Talpur Neale

Colline du Château by Naheed Talpur Neale

As mentioned in our last post we are continuing to build-out the Resighting API. This month we have added two new API methods for you:

  • ListLocatorSightings for listing Sightings which have been submitted to a specified Locator – both the latest Sightings and the Sightings nearest to a specified location.
  • ResightSighting for re-Sighting an existing Sighting.

As always, the full documentation for the Resighting API can be found here.

Enjoy.

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API

We are very excited to announce today the full availability of our API. You can find out more information and sign-up to use it on our developer pages where you can also find a link to the API documentation on our wiki.

The Resighting API allows you to add the power of Resighting to your application or website. With the API it is simple to find Sightings nearby to your user’s location and to create Sightings from within your application or website. Why not use Resighting as the back-end datastore for your location-based data, allowing you to leverage our geo-searching and saving you from implementing a custom solution? Resighting.com is simple, and FREE.

The API has been operational for some time but today’s announcement means we’re happy that it’s stable, we’re happy with the documentation and we’re happy (for now) with the feature set. For you it means that from today we won’t unless absolutely necessary make backwardly-incompatible changes to the API, so you can work with it safe in the knowledge that your software will continue to work in the future.

We’re not done by the way, we have a long list of additional features we want to add to the API so keep on the look-out over the coming months. If you have any suggestions for features that you’d like to see, drop us an email or tweet us and we’ll see what we can do.

Below, a little blue radio sighted on the rue Péclet, Paris 15.

Radio AZ

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Updates to Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

We’ve made a few small changes to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to clarify a couple of situations and below you’ll find a explanation of each change. We don’t think you’ll have any objections but continued use of the site implies your agreement with the changes. It is nothing bad, honest :-)

Text highlighted in red has been removed and text highlighted in green has been added.

Terms of Service: Clause 2

Was previously:

“Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, Resighting has the right (though not the obligation) to, at Resighting’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in Resighting’s reasonable opinion, violates any Resighting policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason.”

Is now:

“Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, Resighting has the right (though not the obligation) to, at Resighting’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that in Resighting’s reasonable opinion violates any Resighting policy, or (ii) terminate or deny access to the Website to any individual or entity who violates any Resighting policy.”

Summary: We will only remove content and deny access where a Resighting policy has been violated.

Terms of Service: Clause 8

Was previously:

“Resighting may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.”

Is now:

“Resighting may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without notice.”

Summary: We will not terminate your access to Resighting without cause.

Privacy Policy: Preamble

Bullet point 1 was previously:

“For each Sighting we store the following information provided to us by your web browser:”

Is now:

“For each Sighting we store the following information provided to us by your client software:”

Summary: The same policy applies whether you use Resighting via a web browser, via our iPhone app or via anything else.

Privacy Policy: Protection of Certain Personally-Identifying Information

Was previously:

“Resighting will not rent or sell potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to anyone. Other than to its employees, as described above, Resighting discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only when Resighting believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Resighting, third parties or the public at large.

Is now:

“Resighting will not rent, sell or otherwise disclose potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to anyone.”

Summary: Resighting will not rent, sell or otherwise disclose potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to ANYONE.

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API and iPhone app

Given the cold spell over the last month which is only now abating I suspect some may be wondering whether the Resighting team has frozen solid, such has been the lack of visible activity. We haven’t though and we’ve been working feverishly on two exciting projects.

The first is the Resighting iPhone app which is almost ready and is beautiful (if we do say so ourselves). With it creating a Sighting only takes a matter of seconds and browsing Sightings around you is incredibly easy. It begs the question why we never had one before, but there are only so many hours in the day. There are still a few kinks to be ironed-out but we hope to have it with you very soon.

The second project has been to tidy-up our API. As you know our API has been in existence for some time, but up to now documentation has been scarce and there are no pages on resighting.com where you can find out about it or sign-up to use it. This is all about to change. If you want to take a little advance look at the API documentation it can be found on the Resighting Wiki. There are a few incomplete pages but by-and-large all you need is there.

So if APIs are your thing then take a look at the documentation and start to figure-out what you’re going to do with it. In addition to that, and we know it’s not much, but we’ve fixed a few bugs here-and-there and we’ve added a statistic to tell you how many times you’ve changed your avatar, if you’ve set one at all, and if you haven’t you should because it’s nice to see what you all look like :-)

Related… sighted in London last week outside the South Bank Centre, a neon “It’s freezing in here” sign by David Shrigley for his exhibition which sadly finishes today at the Hayward Gallery.

It's freezing in here

Oh and by the way the Sighting was made with the new iPhone app…

The Resighting Team

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Tweet

Those of you with eagle eyes will have noticed that we have added the ability for you to automatically tweet your Sightings. For those who haven’t yet, you can set this up in your account settings.

The feature works in exactly the same way as the automatic Facebook wall posting. Once you have linked your Resighting account with your Twitter account, each time you make a Sighting you can check a box to say whether you would like us to tweet the Sighting. That’s about all there is to it. We promise not to tweet anything other than the Sightings you choose and if you place a Sighting on hold then the tweet won’t go until you release the Sighting. Oh, and just like the Facebook link, we DO NOT get to see your Twitter password – during the setup you only enter your username and password into twitter.com so it’s nice and secure.

Along with the Twitter support we’ve also added a few other nice new features, at least one of them is very obvious but we’ll let you figure out what they are by yourselves.

Is this a Panther, or perhaps a Cheetah, or something else? What do you think?

Panther by Naheed Talpur Neale

Panther by Naheed Talpur Neale

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RE-Uses

Resighting is software as well as being a website running at resighting.com and the distinction between the two is important for understanding all the possibilities, as Matthew Neale explains below.

There is quite a lot to resighting.com, a lot more than at first meets the eye and I wanted to talk about a few uses that you may not have thought of. The resighting.com website as you see today is a place to store… well – places! At the simplest level this amounts to a description with a latitude and a longitude attached, and optionally a photo as evidence of the Sighting.

Pret breakfast by Matt

Pret breakfast by Matt

For me it is where I bookmark places that I have been – restaurants in which I have eaten, bars which I have enjoyed, and things which I have spotted while out-and-about which have made me smile. Occasionally it is a place to record somewhere I would like to go. It is a kind of journal and I love looking back over it to see where I have been.

As with all web services today though there isn’t really one use case, if you have something which has a description and a location then you can store it at resighting.com, and I bet there are some use cases which don’t involve either of these two, and I’d love to hear what they are.

Personal uses like mine described above are one side of resighting.com, but there are also possibilities for businesses, especially small businesses, government, charities and non-profit organisations who increasingly need to collect and store location-based data generated by their customers. For example:

  1. Local Authorities who wish residents to be able to photograph and submit the location of abandoned vehicles or dumped waste.
  2. Small businesses who would like their potential customers to report Sightings of their products in retail outlets as a promotional tool.
  3. Restaurants who would like their customers to sight their premises to provide feedback on their experience.

These are all examples of crowdsourcing but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, resighting.com can be used internally within businesses too with employees as the users to capture necessary business data. Remember that at its heart, resighting.com is software to gather and search location-based data.

If you, business or individual has a need for resighting.com which is more than the kind of personal use that I covered earlier, there are a number of options for you.

Option 1: Use resighting.com

Sofa! by Matt

Sofa! by Matt

The first option is simply to use resighting.com as it is. Create a Locator or Locators for the types of Sightings you wish to collect and then ask your customers to make Sightings on resighting.com and submit them to the Locator. A Locator is a collection of Sightings of the same kind or theme and on resighting.com you are free to create as many as you like. For example a Local Authority who wishes customers to submit Sightings of rubbish and waste could create a Rubbish/Waste/Abandoned Locator.

The disadvantage of this option is that your customers need to sign-up to resighting.com, and if as in the example above they are only going to be making perhaps one Sighting, this might well sound like quite enough trouble to dissuade them from making the Sighting at all. Also, the Sightings they submit are all publicly visible on resighting.com and there may be good reason to keep them private. Luckily we have two other options which don’t have these problems.

Option 1 is free and easy to set-up and is summarised as follows:

Resighting Option 1

Option 2: Use resighting.com as a repository for your data

In this option you develop some pages on your existing web portal to allow your customers to make the Sightings you need. You design the pages to capture the data and because of this you can hide-away anything you don’t wish your customers to see. You can also choose whether or not you wish your customers to login to your web portal, all of that is under your control.

When your customers make Sightings, your web portal can make calls to resighting.com using our API, therefore offloading the storage, indexing and retrieval of the Sightings onto us. When you wish to get the data back our API is available to retrieve the Sightings.

With this option it is best to create one account on resighting.com and store the Sightings for all your customers under this one account, an account for just your business. If you don’t wish these Sightings to be visible on resighting.com you can have a private account under which all Sightings and Locators created by your user are invisible to other users and are not displayed on the public pages at resighting.com.

In summary, in this option the combination of a private account and our API means you can store your Sighting data in resighting.com but only allow access to it via your own existing web portal.

Resighting Option 2

Option 3: Deploy your own resighting.com

Our website resighting.com is a website which runs our software, the Resighting software. Is there anything to stop us running the Resighting software on another website? No. The third option then, if you wish your data to be truly away from resighting.com yet you need all the features and power of resighting.com, is to deploy your own Resighting website. This way you get your own Resighting with all the features that it has, and all of it private for you only, or public if you choose it to be.

Note that once you have chosen this option, there is also the possibility of a hybrid between options 2 and 3. The API comes with the Resighting software, so your can run your own Resighting software and at the same time add pages to your existing web portal to submit and retrieve data from your Resighting instance. With this option everything really is up to you.

Resighting Option 3

Summary

The Resighting software and resighting.com can provide simple and efficient storage and retrieval of location-based data for personal as well as for business use. If you are interested in any of the business-related options above then please drop us an email at support@resighting.com, we’re always interested to hear about your ideas. The cost of using resighting.com as storage for your business-related location-based data using option 2 is free up to a few thousand Sightings per year. We don’t apply any hard caps on accounts but if you are going to be storing more than a few thousand Sightings per year then we’d like to hear from you so that we understand what you are doing and can ensure we have the capacity available to support you.

The cost of licensing the Resighting software so that it can be run separately just for you is extremely reasonable. If you’re interested in this then again please drop us an email and we can discuss how we can help.

On top of all that, we’re here on the same email address for help, queries, enhancements and improvements. Just let us know how we can help you.

Footnote

Private Accounts is not an option which is currently available for selection yourself on resighting.com, if you would like a private account please send an email to support@resighting.com.

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